I mourn the early departure of colleague and friend Larry Jacobs, who died on April 30 at age 50. Larry was an indefatigable champion of the family, serving since 2003 as the vice president of the Howard Center for Family, Religion & Society in Rockford, Illinois, where he served with its president, Allan Carlson. (The Howard Center is now The International Organization for the Family).
Larry left a successful business career in 2000 when his faith led him to serve as president and CEO of Healthy Beginnings, a pro-life organization operating pregnancy care centers in Cincinnati and Dayton, Ohio. He made his mark even more publicly at the Howard Center when he became managing director of its affiliated World Congress of Families. Founded by Allan Carlson in 1997, this pro-life, pro-family movement has been listed as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center since 2014 for its support of Judeo-Christian morality and traditional marriage.
Larry was unfazed by such predictable negative publicity aimed at traditional religious believers for their positions on moral issues. He proved to be an able servant in his role at the World Congress, bringing people together across continents and religious affiliations. My wife Patricia and I counted him a friend and benefitted from his conscientious labors, assistance, and friendship on numerous occasions at the three most recent congresses. We witnessed him in action, pouring his life into making each congress a success.
At the memorial service for Larry Jacobs at his Evangelical home church in Rockford, true ecumenism was expressed and treasured as Orthodox Christians, Roman Catholic nuns, members of the Bruderhof Community, Lutherans, and many Evangelical Protestants all sang "Amazing Grace" together. Memory eternal, dear friend.
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